Cover image for Chugga-chugga choo-choo
Chugga-chugga choo-choo
Lewis, Kevin (Children's author)
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 30 cm
A rhyming story about a toy freight train's day, from loading freight in the morning to retiring to the roundhouse after the day's work is done.
Reading Level:
AD 130 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC K-2 1.8 1 Quiz: 20251 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Chugga Chugga Choo Choo

Author Notes

Kevin Lewis's picture books are known for their boisterous boy appeal and irresistible sounds, which make them perfect for reading aloud. He and Daniel Kirk also collaborated on Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo and My Truck Is Stuck! Kevin lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 2^-5. A lot of preschoolers will love this bright picture book about a day in the life of a busy freight train. The lively rhyming text relates the day's activities from morning ("Sun's up! / Morning's here / Up and at 'em, engineer") to night. A cast of colorful toy characters load the freight for a journey to the city. Then off the train goes, through mountains and valleys, into tunnels and across bridges, until it reaches its destination, and it's time to unload: "Boxcars empty / One by one / Sun is setting / Job well done." Kirk's color-saturated pictures are a feast for the eyes, with many wonderful details for little ones to explore. The train, toys, and landscape are depicted close-up and life-size until the final double-page spread, which pulls back to an overhead perspective showing a young African American boy asleep, the floor around his bed filled with winding train tracks and the now-familiar toys and scenery. A surefire hit with budding engineers. --Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

First-time author Lewis and Kirk (Breakfast at the Liberty Diner) here embrace an enduring childhood fantasyÄthe playroom that comes alive at nightÄand pare it down for very young readers. A toy engineer and his son drive a train loaded with "freight" (actually an assortment of playthings) around a labyrinth of track laid out in a sleeping boy's bedroom. Other toysÄa jack-in-the-box, a Humpty Dumpty, a trio of plush raccoonsÄhelp load and unload the cargo, or greet the train as it passes by. Lewis's brief, rhyming couplets mime a locomotive's momentum in their rhythm: " 'Round the mountains, high and steep./ Through the valleys, low and deep." The onomatopoeic refrain, set in playful typography, is familiar but infectious: "Chugga-chugga/ choo-choo/ whistle blowing/ Whoooooooo! Whooooooooo!" Kirk's dramatically shaded, panoramic paintings revel in the toys' bold shapes and colors as well as in the disparate relationships of their sizes to one another and to the environment. He gives the classic subject matter an up-to-the-minute look: his compositions have the modeled, 3D look of computer-aided art, and his surfaces a high-gloss, airbrushed smoothness. Kids will be glad to climb aboard for the ride. Ages 2-5. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1 Bold, bright colors and a catchy rhyming text, not to mention the irresistible subject matter, will make this title an instant hit with young children. From morning to night, a train makes its journey: whistle blowing, "wheels a-turning," loading and unloading its freight. Illustrations reveal a toy train traveling through a child's room, past a teddy bear, a jack-in-the-box, and a cowboy on his horse. The artwork is quite clever; as the train goes "Into tunnels, underground," it travels under the bed, and "Across the river," crossing a bridge over an aquarium. The large typeface suits the simple text, and the repetitive refrain of "whoooooooo! whoooooooo!" curves across the pictures. Perfect for reading aloud, the story also works as a bedtime selection, ending with, "To the roundhouse/you are bound./Good night, engine,/safe and sound." Children who love Donald Crews's Freight Train (Greenwillow, 1978) will find another favorite in Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo. Robin L. Gibson, Muskingum County Library System, Zanesville, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.